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Hellenistic Greek Middle Voice: Semantic Event Structure and Voice Typology
Rachel E. Aubrey (author)Steven E. Runge (thesis supervisor)David J. Sigrist (second reader)Richard A. Rhodes (third reader)Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Linguistics and Translation
This thesis advocates a semantic approach to Hellenistic Greek middle voice, endeavoring to capture a variety of middle expressions and their internal semantic relations. Various event types that receive middle expression in Greek form a continuum; they adopt the scale of semantic transitivity as a conceptual foundation for middle phenomena, among middle systems cross-linguistically and in Ancient Greek (Kemmer 1993). Historical traditions in voice analysis point to syntactic relationships, with alternations framed as choices in clausal subject. Such narrow definitions do not capture the semantic behavior of the Greek middle. Neglecting differences in semantic event structure overlooks fundamental aspects of the Greek voice system. The present analysis describes Greek voice in terms of meaning-oriented distinctions in event structure, as they pertain to shifts in both the type of action and attentional focus regarding facets of an event frame, engaging semantic and pragmatic motivations in voice (Langacker 2006, Shibatani 2006).
Grammar, Comparative and general--Middle voice.Greek language, Biblical--Grammar.Semantics.